Plan B, also known as the “morning-after pill,” is a method of emergency contraception. It is used to prevent an unintended pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse or other failure of contraceptives. The word “Plan B” can also refer to any of the types of emergency contraception pills available in the US. Plan B consists of two pills containing levonorgestrel, a synthetic hormone found in many birth control pills, which is taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex.
Highly effective when used soon after sex, Plan B reduces the chances of pregnancy by up to 89 percent if taken within 24 hours and by 75 percent if taken between 24 and 72 hours. Plan B should be used as soon as possible after intercourse and must be taken in two doses 12 hours apart; it cannot replace regular methods of contraception, such as condoms or birth control pills. Its effectiveness decreases over time, so it should not be used more than once a month or as a primary form of birth control.
What is Plan B?
Plan B is an emergency contraceptive pill that’s used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. It contains higher doses of hormones than regular birth control pills, and it works by preventing ovulation, fertilization, and implantation of an embryo in the uterus. Plan B is safe to use and can be purchased over the counter without a prescription.
It is important for people to understand the basics of Plan B before using it.
How does it work?
Plan B is a type of emergency contraception, also known as the “morning after pill.” It consists of two pills containing the hormone levonorgestrel, which delays or prevents ovulation and is used to help prevent pregnancy after sexual intercourse. When taken within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected sex, Plan B is about 95% effective in preventing pregnancy. However, it works best when taken as soon as possible – within 12–24 hours of unprotected sex for maximum effectiveness.
The hormones in Plan B don’t interfere with existing pregnancies and are not an abortifacient – they will not end a pregnancy that has already been established. The active ingredient in Plan B inhibits the development or implantation of embryos and will not affect any embryo that has already implanted in the uterus. None of the hormones used in Plan B are associated with increased risks of birth defects should a woman become pregnant while using it.
What are the side effects?
The group at greatest risk for side effects from Plan B are those who are allergic to levonorgestrel, the hormone used as the active ingredient, or to any of the inactive ingredients in the medication. Common side effects include abdominal pain, changes in menstrual bleeding, nausea and vomiting. These can be mild and generally go away on their own or with simple pain relievers. In rare cases, there have been reports of headaches lasting longer than 24 hours after taking Plan B.
Plan B has been studied extensively over the years and is not known to have serious long-term health risks associated with its use. Women who have taken Plan B do not need to seek medical treatment unless they experience severe abdominal pain, dizziness, confusion or other symptoms which could signal a more serious issue such as an ectopic pregnancy or infection that require medical attention right away.
When to Use Plan B
Plan B, also known as the “morning after pill”, is an emergency contraception pill that can be used to prevent pregnancy up to 72 hours after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. It works by temporarily stopping the ovaries from releasing eggs and by thickening the cervical mucus to make it harder for sperm to travel to the uterus.
Knowing when to use Plan B can be a difficult decision. Let’s go into further details about the timing and effectiveness of the pill.
When is it too late to take Plan B?
The morning after pill, commonly referred to as Plan B or the Emergency Contraceptive Pill, is a form of emergency contraception that can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. However, it is important to note that the sooner you take Plan B, the more effective it will be. After 72 hours (or three days), the efficacy significantly decreases and is not recommended unless no other options are available.
Some health care providers recommend taking Plan B even if more than three days have passed since unprotected sex in order to give yourself some sense of safety and peace of mind. This should especially be considered if you have experienced repeated or regular incidents of unprotected sexual activity.
The effectiveness of Plan B may vary depending on when in your menstrual cycle you took it, how long it has been since you had unprotected sex, if you have been vomiting or had diarrhea shortly after taking the medicine, and other factors such as weight and metabolic rate. It is also important to remember that although plan B may reduce your chances of becoming pregnant, it does not provide any protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Always remember that Plan B does not replace regular contraception or substitute for regular family planning methods such as condoms or birth control pills. If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, using plan B can substantially reduce your risk for an unintended pregnancy but should not be relied on for ongoing contraceptive use or for emergencies beyond that three day window.
What are the alternatives to Plan B?
While Plan B is an effective way to help prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, there are other options available as well. Depending on when you need to take emergency contraception, the options may vary:
- Other types of emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) – Levonorgestrel-only pills like Plan B are available both with and without a prescription, depending on the brand. Other types of ECPs use the hormones combined ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (which can be more expensive). Some ECPs need to be taken within 72 hours of intercourse, while others must be taken within 120 hours (5 days) from intercourse.
- The copper intrauterine device (IUD) – If inserted within 5 days after unprotected intercourse, a copper IUD can also prevent pregnancy but it may also result in heavier periods or longer lasting menstrual pain for some people. This option is very safe and highly effective in preventing pregnancy long-term if left in for up to 10 years after insertion; however it requires a medical procedure by a healthcare provider to insert and remove it.
- Progestin-only injectable contraceptives – Injectable contraceptives are another form of emergency contraception that require a prescription from your healthcare provider but they can be used up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse as well. These become effective immediately upon injection and last between 3–4 weeks depending on the type used before another dose is needed.
It’s important to note that while all these methods provide an alternative option to Plan B, they provide different windows of efficacy when it comes to preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex so it’s important that you get advice from your healthcare professional about which method might work best for you given your individual circumstances.
How to Take Plan B
Plan B is an emergency contraceptive pill used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. It is available over-the-counter without a prescription. Taking Plan B is considered safe, but it should only be used in emergency situations. It can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, but it is more effective the sooner it is taken.
Let’s find out more about the proper way to take the Plan B pill:
How to buy Plan B
Plan B, also known as emergency contraception or the morning-after pill, is an over-the-counter medicine used to prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of unprotected or failed birth control use. It works by delaying ovulation so that a pregnancy can’t occur. In most states and territories, Plan B is available to anyone 18 years or older without a prescription due to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision in 2013 but in some states the age limit still exists. Before you buy Plan B, there are a few things you should know.
It is important to be aware that Plan B cannot prevent an ectopic pregnancy (when the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus) or terminate an existing pregnancy. It also does not provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). To ensure you receive accurate medical advice and correct dosage information, contact your doctor or local health clinic before taking it. Additionally, if you are breastfeeding, ask your doctor about potential risks before using Plan B such as reduced milk supply and potential side effects for your baby before taking it.
Plan B can be difficult to find because not all stores carry it due to religious reasons nor does it come with instructions on how to take it correctly. Here are some tips on how you can find and purchase plan b:
- You can visit any pharmacy location chain such as CVS or Walgreens which carries Plan B at most locations however they might require that you present proper identification to purchase this medication.
- If CVS/Walgreens does not carry plan b at their pharmacy then visit another pharmacy chain like Rite Aid which also carries this over-the-counter medication without requiring a prescription from a healthcare provider – however keep in mind its availability might depend upon state laws/regulations.
- If none of these stores carry this product then try visiting an independent pharmacy within your area that may offer plan b if they stock their shelves with compatible OTC medicines.
- Purchasing online through trusted websites is another viable option – there are many websites such as SexHelp site which offers over the counter birth control products including plan b – make sure however to review customers reviews before making purchases online.
How to take Plan B
Plan B, also known as the morning after pill, is a form of emergency contraception. It’s an over-the-counter medication that can be taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure to help prevent pregnancy.
Plan B is made up of two pills each containing a synthetic version of the hormone progestin. These hormones work to delay ovulation and disrupt the uterus lining, meaning that if fertilization has already occurred, it would be difficult for an egg to attach. Plan B does not require a prescription, and is 95% effective when taken properly.
If you choose to take Plan B, it is important that you follow these steps:
- Read the provided package instructions carefully before taking any medication.
- Take both pills at the same time preferably with food or antacid tablet as this will minimize common side effects such as nausea or vomiting if they occur.
- When taken properly up to 72 hours after protected sex or contraceptive failure, Plan B can reduce the risk of pregnancy by up to 95%.
- If you have any questions regarding taking Plan B speak to your healthcare provider for further information and support.
- It’s important to note that Plan B does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and should only be used in emergency situations; regular contraceptive methods should still be used when engaging in sexual intercourse for pregnancy prevention and STI protection purposes.
How to store Plan B
It is important to store medications and contraceptives properly. Plan B (levonorgestrel), also known as the morning-after pill, prevents pregnancy up to three days after unprotected sex. It is important to store Plan B between 59 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, away from moisture, heat, and light. It should not be used after the expiration date on the package and should be stored in its original packaging.
When storing Plan B at home, you must keep it out of direct sunlight or heat sources like ovens or microwaves due to a potential drug interaction. You should not store it in places where someone else may take it by mistake or too young children or pets could access it. If you are traveling with the morning-after pill, carry the medication in a zip lock bag with other items such as a towel or a shirt to help protect the pill from moisture exposure.
If you have any questions about storing Plan B in your home, ask your pharmacist for advice before taking this medication.
In conclusion, the Plan B pill is often used as an emergency contraceptive and can help to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. It is important to remember that this pill is not a regular form of birth control and should not be taken routinely. Talk with your physician or pharmacist if you have any questions about when to use the Plan B pill and how long it stays in your system.
For those who want additional contraception, there are other types of birth control available, such as:
- Hormonal contraceptives
- Contraceptive implants
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about which type would best meet your needs for contraceptive protection.